Grosvenor Estate Residents' Message Board

(Maintained by Robin Smith)

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Previous page (items 1 - 42)

63  Date: 21 November 2015
Robin Smith ( wrote:

North Tyneside Local Plan Draft 2015 - Final Consultation

Consultation has been opened on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Draft from Monday 2nd November to 5 pm on Monday, 14th of December. This is the final consultation on North Tyneside's Local Plan, and its suggested options for growth and development, before it is submitted to the Government for Public Examination. The comments and responses submitted at this stage will be shared with the Government and considered by an independent planning inspector when the Local Plan is examined next year.

During the consultation there will be a number of drop-in events around North Tyneside, when Council Officers will be present, to discuss any issues with you. Copies of the Local Plan will also be available to view. The events, at the venues below, will be held from 2pm to 4.30pm and 6pm to 8pm on:

17 November 2015 - Wallsend Customer First Centre, The Forum, Wallsend
19 November 2015 - Shiremoor Centre Hall, Earsdon Road, Shiremoor
24 November 2015 - White Swan Centre, Citadel East, Killingworth
25 November 2015 - North Shields Customer First Centre, Northumberland Square, North Shields
26 November 2015 - West Moor Community Centre, Benton Lane, West Moor
01 December 2015 - John Willie Sams Centre, Market Street, Dudley
03 December 2015 - Whitley Bay Customer First Centre, York Road, Whitley Bay

62  Date: 19 February 2015
Robin Smith ( wrote:

North Tyneside Local Plan Draft 2015

The above link will take you to a PDF document on the Local Plan. I have uploaded another PDF document which gives some questions and answers about the earlier draft of 2013. Note that these were about the earlier (2013) draft but I believe most of the answers are still relevant.

61  Date: 10 February 2015
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Boardwalk Petition Hearing

The Boardwalk petition hearing took place at a North Tyneside Council meeting on 23 October 2014.   Parts of the meeting were recorded on video and uploaded to YouTube. Click on the three images below to open each of the YouTube videos in turn: -

Petitioner Addresses Meeting
Councillor Speaks in Support
Mayor Redfearn Responds


60  Date: 30 July 2014
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Flood Warden Page

A web page has been added that may of of interest to those who live in the Grosvenor Estate (Grosvenor Drive, Kings Drive & Queens Drive). It provides information that may be useful to residents at risk of local (flash) flooding during severe weather. Also provides links to MET office rainfall radar reports etc.

59  Date: 12 August 2013
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Marden Quarry - Lake

A web page has been added about the poor drainage from the lake in Marden Quarry (see also item 56 below). A claim that the flood level from last year's heavy rainfall remained high because of tree roots in a 'private pipe' in a council media release (5 March 2013) is misleading. The 'private pipe' is actually a culvert running from the outlet from the lake to Norhumbrian Water's sewer in Burnside Road and is owned by North Tyneside Council.

58  Date: 12 August 2013
Robin Smith ( wrote:

A statutory notice to change the permit holders only parking regulations for Grosvenor Drive East and Kings Drive was issued on 2 August 2013.

57  Date: 12 August 2013
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Area Forums

Area Forums were ended by Mayor Arkley's cabinet at the meeting in April 2013 (item 6c). The decision was based on a report # that claimed poor attendance, stating that an average of only 14 residents attended each of 16 Area Forums. The truth is that the average was 42 and this figure does not include any of the council members, council officers or representatives of other organisation who are also residents of North Tyneside.

Perversely, the new cabinet member for Community Engagement, Cllr. Gambling, who contibuted to the success of the Whitley Bay Area forums in 2012/13 by introducing more time for residents to ask questions and give their views, declared that "Area Forums have gone" to the Overview & Scrutiny committee meeting on 1 July, 2013.

# Even more perversely - the report states that the chairs of Area Forums were consulted on new ways of engaging with residents but no 'external consultation' had taken place -i.e. residents had not been asked!

56  Date: 8 June 2013
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Marden Quarry Lake

The lake in Marden Quarry receives most of its water from rainfall precipitated in the area of Rake Lane. There is one outlet on the east side that leads into a sewer near "The Quarry" public house. The heavy rainfall last year caused flooding of the lake and footpaths. This is illustrated in a short video taken during last winter, 2012/13 which can be compared with the more usual level illustrated in scenes captured in a video of winter, 2011/12.

I spoke to park wardens that I met in Marden Park last Monday about the lake level not falling significantly during the recent period of dry weather and the risk of more flooding during heavy rainfall. Regular visitors have also pointed out the deterioration in the drainage from the lake that has become apparent over recent years. I was told that a particular council officer is currently investigating the problem.


Date: 18 March 2013
Robin Smith ( wrote:

North Tyneside Council - "Flooding Task & Finish" Group Report

The final "flooding task and finish" group report was presented to a council cabinet meeting on 14 January 2013. As has become the habit at cabinet meetings over the last year, the report was duely rubber stamped.

Missing from the report was anything of substance resulting from the activities of 2 of the 4 sub-groups that had been set up for consideration of: -

1. " Existing surface water management maintenance regimes and investment plans"

2. "The individual roles and responsibilities of each organisation"

My questions are: -

What are the existing water management maintenance regimes and investment plans?

What are the individual roles and responsibilities of each organisation - in particular, those of North Tyneside Council, Northumbrian Water Limited and the Environment Agency in the design, construction, maintenance and financing of the physical infrastucture for flood prevention?

Has anyone else noticed these omissions?

54  Date: 17 September 2012
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Localised Flooding in Grosvenor Drive

Below is a record of questions to North Tyneside Council, its responses, and my comments on these, relating to the flooding in Grosvenor Drive that occurred as a result of storms this summer. The responses from North Tyneside Council were obtained through correspondence with Whtiley Bay ward councillor, Sandra Graham.

Here are some comments on the responses (on behalf of Ken Wilson) to my questions included in an email sent to you on 1 September. I have given them below in red under each question/answer.

1.   What are the terms of reference of the Mayor's 'flooding task and finish' referred to in media releases of 23rd July and 6th August 2012 beyond what is stated in the media releases?

 The Terms of Reference which have been agreed by the Task Group are as follows:

 Terms of Reference

The Group will seek to address the following issues:

How did the Council and its partners respond to the flooding of 28 June? What worked well? What could be improved and how?

How can the Council alongside its partners, support residents and communities to ensure that they are prepared for future flooding instances?  How can they inform residents best about how to be ready for flooding and what to do should it happen?

What support do local authorities and their partners need from Central Government and other bodies to strengthen their resilience against flooding given its increased prevalence in recent years?

How can each organisation’s policies be adapted to take into account the risk of flooding?


The Group will, following its deliberations and discussions, come forward with a plan of action for the council, its partners and the community to ensure that North Tyneside is effectively prepared for flooding, be even more proactive when it hits and able to respond post-flooding.

 Through having all the relevant organisations around the table, it is hoped the outcomes will deliver real actions that will increase the resilience of North Tyneside to the increasingly frequent extreme weather seen of late.

The terms of reference are sensible and appropriate but I am left wondering if there is too little emphasis on prevention of flooding (compared with responses to flooding incidents) by the main agents with the responsibility - North Tyneside Council (NTC) and Northumbrian Water Ltd. (NWL)

2.   Which council members are part of the group?

Cllr Ed Hodson (as Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport), Cllr George Westwater (Conservative group nomination), Cllr Brian Burdis (Labour Group nomination) and Cllr David Ord (Liberal Democrat nomination).

I understand from Cllr. Burdis that there have been only 2 meetings so far - this is understandable bearing in mind that August is the height of the holiday season!

3.    Is it intended to complete the work by a deadline, and if so what is it?

The Mayor was keen for this to be a short, focused piece of work to feed into emerging Budget discussions, and therefore, the work will be completed before the end of September. 

Perhaps the deadline should be extended bearing in mind the holiday season. It would be better to get the outcomes right rather than simply meeting an unreasonable deadline.

4.    Is it intended for the group to produce a report on the work of the 'flooding task and finish' group? (If so, I would like to see a draft version before the final version is produced.)

 A report which details the information and recommendations to be taken through to Cabinet will be prepared at the conclusion of the Group. Those who have been part of the Group will have the opportunity to feed into the draft. There is no intention for the draft report to be available for public comments.

In making the request to see a draft version of a report on the work of the 'task & finish' group I did not intend to ask that it be available for public comments. I was offering my services as an experienced professional engineer whose work included the review of draft papers/reports prior to publication as well as supervision/review/assessment of post graduate students' work sponsored by Parsons/Rolls Royce. Any comments I would make would be constructive and have usually led to improvements in clarity.

5.     Are minutes of any meetings of the 'flooding task and finish' group to be made available for public scrutiny?

 The meetings are not minuted but notes are taken. As the meetings include external partners there may be sensitive information discussed, therefore, we would require their consent before any notes were made publicly available. The intention is for the notes to be available alongside the report.

I do not believe any of the participants would object to having their contributions to the 'task & finish' group's work available to public scrutiny. 

6.    What is the current schedule for cleansing of gullies in Grosvenor Drive east and when were they last cleansed according to any earlier schedule?

Please see directly below for a screen print of the current schedule for cleansing of gullies in Grosvenor Drive East. Column "C" shows the location of the works and column "D" shows the week in the schedule that the gullies will be completed. 

Last full cleanse in Jan / Feb 2011; next programmed cleanse is April 2013.

Grosvenor Drive is on the 18 / 24 month cycle under the new programme

The information about the cleansing of gullies is NOT credible. Although I have sent a note to local residents about the gullies being cleared in the Grosvenor Estate during this week I doubt that this will happen.

Firstly, the schedule in the extract from the Excel spreadsheet contradicts the statement by Mr Harvey in one of his emails dated 7 September - " I have been speaking with our front line workforce and they are going to attend to the gullies in Grosvenor Drive in the coming weeks".

Secondly, your report (24 August, in a note to Mr Harvey) that residents observed a cleansing vehicle being unable to get down the street due to parked cars indicates that the schedule is not being worked to.

The only time I am sure that at least 2 gullies were cleansed (other than one at the end of Grosvenor Drive that I reported heavy pooling around, earlier this year) was over 6/7 June 2000 - this included the one in the access road to the YMCA - and took place 1 day after I reported the flooding of the access road as featured in photographs linked to the temporary webpage on localised flooding.

N.B. All but a few gullies in the Grosvenor Estate were cleared on the morning of Wednesday, 12 September. Access to a few gullies was denied by parked cars.


Date: 31July 2012
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Whitley Bay People - A New Community Website

There is now a new, local community website called Whitley Bay People. As a former resident of Exmouth in Devon I have been contributing to Exmouth People for a few years. This link to the Exmouth People website gives an explanation for newcomers as to what the website offers. For those unfamiliar with what the Whitley Bay People website can be used for I have given a few links to examples from the Exmouth People Website in the list below: -

General Discussion - Groups - What's On - Council - Exmouth People (Registered Users) - Green Man (A prolific contributor)

The 'People' websites have only recently been extended from the south and west of England to most of the rest of the country.

The Whitley Bay People website is currently seeking an owner - someone who can run the website under a franchise arrangement - see top of the website for more information.


52 Date: 15 June 2012
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Webcams (see also item 44)

In November last year I wrote to 'Friends of St. Mary's island' to suggest a webcam be installed in the lighthouse to overlook the causeway and surrounding area. I got no reply but a webcam was installed by North Tyneside Council (NTC), but not in the lighthouse. It has not been set to work "for legal reasons". Subsequent investigation with advice from the operator of the webcams in Exmouth led me to conclude that the "legal reasons" could be easily overcome but some practical/technical considerations have led me to suggest that the webcam and associated equipment be relocated to overlook Cullercoats Bay. I am awaiting further response from NTC.

Surfing enthusiasts will already know of the webcam operated by Tynemouth Surf Co that overlooks Tynemouth beach.

51  Date: 7 February 2012
Robin Smith ( wrote:

This Freedom of Information response (RFI 4211) includes a statement on the refusal of a residents' only permit scheme for Grosvenor Drive (from Norham Road to the junction with Kings Drive).

It refers to the parking scheme policy introduced on 13 September 2011, about which residents were not consulted despite my request (see item 45 below).

50  Date: 30 September 2011
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Draft Parking Strategy for North Tyneside, 2011-15 - consultation documents: -

N.B. The first and third of these three documents are Word documents - the second is an Excel spreadsheet. If you have trouble viewing these I can supply PDF versions.

49  Date: 21 June2011
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Temporary public (and private) web pages are now available here. The information posted on them will remain until it gets out-of-date or webspace space limitations justify its removal!

48  Date: 23 May 2011
Robin Smith ( wrote:

The Grosvenor Drive Street Party (29 April 2011) - You Tube Video

47  Date: 18 April 2011
Robin Smith ( wrote:

The Alternative Voting System (from 'You Tube')

Here is a link to a simple explanation - Simple - doesn't require a great brain to understand it, does it?
Here is another link that makes the case through an analogy of buying an ice cream - I prefer chocolate.
Much easier to follow than by listening to politicians!

46  Date: 18 April 2011 (amended 20 August 2011)
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Residents' Parking Permits - Charges and Renewal

Residents who live in a parking zone covered by a Parking Permit scheme should note that North Tyneside Council has introduced a charge for each additional permit over and above the 2 free permits (one for a registered vehicle and one for a visitor).

The charge was announced in the March 2011 edition of "Widening Horizons" (page 7).
The Council will no longer notify residents that their permits need to be renewed - it is left to residents to remember this and make renewal applications in good time to avoid receiving an unwelcome PCN.
45  Date: 14 November 2010
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Review of Residents' Permit Parking Policy

From: Robin Smith [] Sent: 10 May 2010 11:33

To: Whitley Bay Area Forum


The above was an item on the 12 April last Cabinet meeting but the minutes state it was deferred to the next Cabinet meeting (10 May) today. However is does not appear on the agenda of today's meeting.

I spoke briefly to Cllr. Ed Hodson at the 12 April meeting and he told me the item had been deferred to the next Cabinet meeting. I suggested to Cllr. Hodson that this could be a topic on the next Whitley Bay Area Forum (22 June) and that I would prefer that the Cabinet would simply note the report, pending consultation via Area Forum(s) with residents.

Please advise me whether or not these suggestions have been taken up.


Robin Smith (etc.)
Response: -
From: Whitley Bay Area Forum

To: Robin Smith ; Whitley Bay Area Forum


Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:02 AM


Dear Mr Smith

With regard to your e-mail (above), the Council's Network And Transportation Manager has advised that the Review of Residents' Permit Parking Police (sic) is no longer scheduled to go the June cabinet and is not currently on the forward plan, which means it is not currently scheduled for any future cabinet meeting.

He has advised that the council, in discussion with the Elected Mayor are developing a range of different options on ways of addressing issues linked to the issuing and managing of residents parking and has confirmed that they could give an update on this at the September or December Area Forum.

I hope this information is helpful to you, however, should you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get back in touch.

Yours sincerely


Council Offices
Despite the exchange recorded above the Council's Cabinet approved a revised Residents' Parking Permit Policy at the meeting on 13 September, 2010 WITHOUT ANY CONSULTATION WITH RESIDENTS.
44  Date: 14 November 2010
Robin Smith ( wrote:


Exmouth has a webcam on the seafront and overlooking the Stand Gardens, in the heart of the town centre. The Exmouth Seafront webcam can be controlled by visitors to the website and usually broadcasts at between 15 and 20 frames per second.
The Strand Gardens webcam overlooks what was a small park with a war memorial at the centre. The area is currently under development to make it into a piazza/events area. The image is updated about once a second and a high resolution still photograph can be captured.
In August I wrote to the Mayor and the Whitley Bay and North Shields Area Forum administrators to suggest a webcam like that on Exmouth Seafront could be obtained for providing a view over Cullercoats Bay or the Mouth of the Tyne. Since then I have also had the idea that a webcam, similar to that used for the Strand Gardens, could be placed to overlook the piazza/events area that is envisaged in front of the Spanish City Dome building.
The webcams I have found in North Tyneside do not seem to be placed to allow views that might be attractive to visitors. One, erected by North Tyneside Council, overlooks the Mouth of the Tyne but the camera has a low resolution and the view is marred by the rooftops of houses. The operators of the Tyne Tunnel provide several webcams covering the Tyne Tunnel(s) but I don't think they are intended to show views that are attractive to potential tourists!
43  Date: 14 November 2010
Robin Smith ( wrote:

Spanish City Site Developments

There was a special Area Forum for Whitley Bay on 31 August 2010 about Whitley Bay regeneration and the Spanish City Dome buildings in particular.
The notes of this Area Forum meeting are available on North Tyneside Council's website. I asked 2 questions. - The first was about the full planning application for the Dome building that was agreed in February 2007 (ref. 06/0347/FUL); this included a reference to the 2 storey building to the rear that was added after 1920. (I referred to this in my second letter about the link road planning application - see item 42.)
Mr Wison confirmed that the buiding was to be demolished but then went on to state that the proposals by the 2 currently prospective developers of the Spanish City site would not be put out for public consulatation as those 3 earlier developers' proposals had been. The answer given at the meeting was that they would not be. This appeared to be a decision made by Mr Wilson - hence the second question!
The answer to the first question as published - that there would be no consultation with residents before the choice was made by the Cabinet begs the question as to how exactly the Procurement Law has changed since the earlier, extensive consulation when none of the 3 prospective developers was identified.